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Old 09-26-2014, 10:53 AM   #61
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Great list. We did much of the same. We have time now to go over every expense, kw and therm of gas. Doing that cut over a decade off our ER date.

We're several years in and I still keep finding things we can cut that we don't miss and without lowering our lifestyle. I wish we had done this 30 years ago but I guess better late than never.
In our case, we were able to literally double our travel budget without increasing our overall spend. Powerful motivation for me to continue to stay the course.
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:59 AM   #62
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I get my yearly $50 dollar fee for my United miles card (Chase) waived every year. I call and threaten to switch to Capitol one or another card - $50 for 2 minutes, can't beat that!

also i have become a great online shopper. If I need something/almost anything! I can find it with free shipping at great savings.

Like may others have said - none or less alcohol with dinners out. In the past DW and I would end up with 2X the bill for dinner because of booze! This is often where the restaurants get their profit.

As discussed in "your recent repair" thread - do most of my home/auto repairs. Very rewarding monetarily and mentally!

Harvest wood from my property. Wood stove does 90% (approx) of the heat in our house. And I love the feel of radiant heat. Also do cooking on the wood stove - stews, chili and even crock pot type of cooking. Free and the house smells great all afternoon.
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:25 PM   #63
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Another online tip. Before buying anything - especially online, google for coupons. Doesn't work every time, but it is amazing how often it does!
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:34 PM   #64
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I have cancelled Sirius XM radio in my car, cable TV and the online newspaper that I tried out on special offer. Any regular subscription is an ongoing drain.
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:50 PM   #65
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Another online tip. Before buying anything - especially online, google for coupons. Doesn't work every time, but it is amazing how often it does!
I try to do this, too. I've had a lot of luck with www.retailmenot.com/
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:09 PM   #66
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I have cancelled Sirius XM radio in my car, cable TV and the online newspaper that I tried out on special offer. Any regular subscription is an ongoing drain.
Do you remember that call that recently went viral, where a customer attempted to cancel their Comcast service and the rep argued with them for something like 45 minutes? That is almost exactly what I went through when I contacted Sirius XM to cancel our service a few years back. I was on the phone for close to 45 minutes being handed from dept to dept. It was insane. I swore I would never, ever be held hostage like that again, and to this day I will only deal with services that either bill month to month, or have an online tool for easy cancellation.
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:21 PM   #67
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Recent good idea's to save $

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Do you remember that call that recently went viral, where a customer attempted to cancel their Comcast service and the rep argued with them for something like 45 minutes? That is almost exactly what I went through when I contacted Sirius XM to cancel our service a few years back. I was on the phone for close to 45 minutes being handed from dept to dept. It was insane. I swore I would never, ever be held hostage like that again, and to this day I will only deal with services that either bill month to month, or have an online tool for easy cancellation.

Fortunately my call was much easier. The agent made two lower offers, the second at 50% off, but I just said "no thank you" each time. The call lasted ~ 2 minutes and we parted on good terms.


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Old 09-27-2014, 02:31 PM   #68
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Like may others have said - none or less alcohol with dinners out. In the past DW and I would end up with 2X the bill for dinner because of booze! This is often where the restaurants get their profit.
Two recent real-life situations convinced me that ordering wine while dining out is one expensive proposition. Situation one occurred at a Morton's Steakhouse, where I noted a bottle of J.Lohr Hilltop Cabernet priced at $105. I had the identical bottle at home, including year, for which I paid $32. Situation two occurred at a Hyatt hotel bar. A bottle of Trinity Oak Chardonnay was priced at $40, for which I pay $6.99 at the supermarket, sometimes only $4.99 if on sale.

I now make a point of calling ahead to ask about corkage fees. Usually a much better deal to bring your own bottle and hand it over to them to open and pour.
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Old 09-27-2014, 03:12 PM   #69
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We are lucky to live close to Gruene hall that has wonderful free music almost every day. Also monthly wine and beer tastings with music! Tomorrow night is Guy Forsyth who I would gladly pay to see, but he is free! Also check out local house concerts, usually a $10 donation and you bring pot luck. I did just use a $500 plane ticket voucher for an oversold flight, and my credit card rewards for an almost free weeks vacation to Roatan. I'm pretty proud of that!
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:26 AM   #70
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Do you remember that call that recently went viral, where a customer attempted to cancel their Comcast service and the rep argued with them for something like 45 minutes? That is almost exactly what I went through when I contacted Sirius XM to cancel our service a few years back. I was on the phone for close to 45 minutes being handed from dept to dept. It was insane. I swore I would never, ever be held hostage like that again, and to this day I will only deal with services that either bill month to month, or have an online tool for easy cancellation.
They(XM) must have changed, I recently canceled 1 account, took about 5 minutes they offered 50% off for 5 months. I declined, get a snail mail every 3 months with better discounts. They all go in the trash.

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Old 09-28-2014, 11:22 AM   #71
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.

Like may others have said - none or less alcohol with dinners out. In the past DW and I would end up with 2X the bill for dinner because of booze! This is often where the restaurants get their profit.
PA is in the stone ages in most regards when it comes to alcohol licensing and sales. An interesting by-product of it being hard to get an alcohol license is that there are many "BYOB" restaurants where it's encouraged that you bring your own bottle of wine. Usually no corking fee or just a few $. One good restaurant is across the street from a state liquor store. We literally ordered apps/dinner and then DW walked across the street to grab a good bottle to go with it. She brought it back and the guy corked and poured. Apparently a lot of people do that.

BYOB is popular enough that at least one of the nicer restaurants that does have a liquor license has introduced BYOB Sundays...I think it's not a coincidence that they are down the street from the other restaurant...

It feels a little weird at first, but it's really great once you get used to it.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:32 AM   #72
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PA is in the stone ages in most regards when it comes to alcohol licensing and sales. An interesting by-product of it being hard to get an alcohol license is that there are many "BYOB" restaurants where it's encouraged that you bring your own bottle of wine. Usually no corking fee or just a few $. One good restaurant is across the street from a state liquor store. We literally ordered apps/dinner and then DW walked across the street to grab a good bottle to go with it. She brought it back and the guy corked and poured. Apparently a lot of people do that.

BYOB is popular enough that at least one of the nicer restaurants that does have a liquor license has introduced BYOB Sundays...I think it's not a coincidence that they are down the street from the other restaurant...

It feels a little weird at first, but it's really great once you get used to it.
Yeah - but the state store in my old neighborhood (suburban Philly) was terrible for wine selection. (It was nicer a few miles away in Chestnut Hill).

I learned to buy the wine across the river in New Jersey - then bring that to the restaurant.
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Old 09-28-2014, 01:26 PM   #73
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Several months ago, I was given the opportunity by my employer, to work from home. Initially, I was amazed at the savings in transportation costs, clothing, shoes, coffee and lunches out, etc.

Then I noticed something interesting - my utility bills have gone up, purchasing greater amounts of kitchen supplies (detergent, foil, plastic, etc) due to eating more frequently at home and needing housecleaning help more frequently.

But you cannot place a value on time and lack of commuting stress, although it forces one to be more social.

TB
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:06 PM   #74
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Our savings:

We have tracfones, $75 each per year. I got my son to pay 50% of the prime membership as he uses the content and free shipping. We have a glass of wine before we go out to dinner, then order water. We often order one appie and one full meal and share - it is plenty of food. We mostly go out to lunch for an event rather than dinner as it is half price or less. We will go late in the day and have fun. We definitely get free library books to the kindles. We clip coupons and buy in quantity and freeze. We buy a lot off what we call the "scratch and dent bin" at our grocery - old veggies and fruits, meat that is frozen but about to go, etc. We will just plan meals around these immediately. We plan regular weeks of eating only what is in the house.

For travel: We use Days Inn during travel (used Marriotts when working). We set a budget per day when we do road trips and have fun figuring out how to fit in events/food/hotel - makes it fun. For example if we want to stay in a nicer hotel we will do a room picnic and save the leftovers in an ice chest for lunches. We bring our camp stove and coffee makings, plus oatmeals and pick a nice spot to stop (stops the Starbucks drop ins). We standardize on less expensive fair - like we will pick a theme, say barbecue or thai, which is pretty inexpensive. We rarely eat at expensive dinner places on the road. Bring our own alcohol that we bought on sale. Look for specials on the road, like beers and appies and turn that into dinner.

We are pretty much DIYers - except wiring and plumbing. We put most miles on one car, so the other qualifies for low mileage discount.

We really enjoy thinking of ways to save money. You have to make it fun.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:58 PM   #75
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Saved $100 per month on our cable bill. I installed a small indoor TV antenna that is amplified with a 50 mile range. We get 46 HD digital channels. The magic jack has been working great. We use HULU Plus and Amazon Prime for our streaming content.

Next mission is to get the moble phone bill down to $30/month each using Straight Talk instead of Verizon.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:49 PM   #76
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This!

It drives me nuts that so much software is now on subscription basis. My son wants some rendering program - but it's a monthly subscription... I've told him that's against family policy. My other son wanted to get a minecraft server... again, a monthly subscription. Even with him paying, I refused to let him do it...
I bought a couple server class rack mount PCs from the state surplus website for under $100 (but you can do this with a regular desktop PC..). Showed boys where to download Linux from. They got into building their own minecraft and game servers and hosting them for their friends. One son did spend his allowance/lawn mowing money to build his own "super" server. I consider it funds well spent. One is now in college studying engineering and math. Other one will hopefully be going to state sponsored residential math and science school for his last two years of high school.
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